Rotary Beijing in Summer part 2

17 August 2021

Here Rotary Beijing in Summer part 2! Back in Kempinski Hotel for our Tuesday lunch meeting. with a remarkable set of speakers, Charles and Kate Wang on the topic: “An Amputee’s Road to Full Recovery: A Personal Story”

This moving speech was about two people, who through personal experiences, witnessed and understood the challenges facing the amputees in China and took it upon themselves to provide the needed help. Charles, originally from China but sent away to the US at an early age, became a specialist in prosthetic rehabilitation, after received training from Duke and Northwestern University and worked at the Veteran’s Affairs Hospital in the States. Upon his return to China, he saw few people with disabilities, but the statics betrayed the true story of 3-5 million amputees.

Many were fitted with subpar prosthetics, and many of the younger amputees numbered 100,000, were fitted with ill-fitted adults’ components. There were no programs to help those amputees to regain their mobility or psychological counseling to deal with the aftermath of being amputated. They had been shunned and tucked away, neglected and ignored. Most of those amputees, after being deprived of their limps, were also denied education, jobs, or a normal life. So Charles teamed with Georg Hoffmann-Kuhnt, the prosthetics specialist from Germany and a long-time Beijing resident, to set up Morning Star to provide full-body rehabilitation, a facility very much lacking in China.

Kate, Charles’s wife, a native of Sichuan, was a teacher and trained as a dancer before losing both of her legs, as a result of having been buried under the rubbles for 30 hours during the Wenchuan Earthquake. After she recovered, Kate started a long journey of rehabilitation. While Kate recovered from the amputation, she found that many children were not so lucky. Many of those young children had difficulties adjusting to a life with disabilities and they could find no help, from the adults around them or society at large. There were no systematic programs in China to help people with disabilities to return to society, and Kate recounted many stories of the systemic prejudice and inconveniences many of the amputees faced. Kate was sent to Canada where for the first time, she was shown that being an amputee with well-fitting prosthetics, she could be who she wanted to be and do what she wanted to. She could swim, ski, run, and to her delight, even be taller, from having a height boost from her new legs!

The most important part of a leg prosthesis is the part that contacts the body, and this has to be handmade and fitted individually. At Morning Star, amputees, both adults, and young children are given professionally fitted prostheses, and importantly, they are given a second life to enjoy swimming, dancing, and other playful pursuits.

The two couples, Charles and Kate, Georg and Michelle, with their understanding of what amputees face in this harsh and hard society, are now devoting their professional expertise to providing professionally-made prostheses and supporting programs to help the amputees to rehabilitate, and recover their lost meaning of life.

24 August 2021

A small but cozy fellowship in Morel’s Restaurant, as many members were away or busy.

Teddy and Eddy joined the happy evening

31 August 2021

Another Kempinski lunch, with the induction of our new member Ralf and as speakers Celyn Bricker and Faye Lu on the topic “Protecting wildlife while staying at home”.

See an overview of their talk.
I enjoyed the mushroom soup and the roulade. Well done.

Rotary Beijing in Summer part 1

27 July 2021

See here Rotary Beijing in Summer part 1: A very relaxed dinner in Schindlers Tankstelle Sanlitun with a special Country Western performance once more by Kevin and Brian (Bag of Bears Band!). Most of the songs are my favorite, mostly from ‘70s and ‘80s. I had the mushroom soup and the BBQ ribs, all great!

No speaker, simply enjoying the music and fellowship.

Rotaract events

Small get together meeting with Trefyn the new President of Rotaract for 21-22, on 14 July in The Local and then on 26 July I gave a talk in the Yard House (SOHO Sanlitun).

And yes some volunteering again!
On 30 July 2021 Rotaractors joined MCF (Migrant Children Foundation) to go to Beijing Huiling to make some DIY dog puppets. Beijing Huiling is a place for children and young adults with learning and intellectual disabilities. With the 15 young adults at Beijing Huiling, Rotaract and MCF constructed dog puppets. Some of the young adults were even able to say the names of the body parts of the dog puppets in English. Many of the young adults needed help putting the puppets together. When everyone had finished making their puppet everyone gathered to take a picture.

See the happy smiles!
And another career talk on 9 August by Didier, our president of the Rotary Club of Beijing.

I followed by ZOOM.

10 August 2021

Another successful dinner in Schindler Tankstelle, this time with an inspiring speaker:
Josh Dominik – Topic: “Krankin’ through China: Adaptive Sports in the Middle Kingdom”

“Krankin’ through China” is a team of individuals who promote adaptive supports and inclusive activities in Greater China. Their goals are to raise social awareness, accessibility mindset, and improve health through motion by all people. Josh is from New Mexico, Florida, and New York and has lived in China since 2005. He shared with the audience his passion for outdoor sports, a passion since he was a child. Adaptive sports, Josh explained, started after WWII when injured veterans returned home. Adaptations were made so that those sports could suit the veterans to allow them to participate and do sports. Adaptive sports also allow those veterans with disabilities to integrate back into society. Adaptive sports like surfing, kayaking, cycling, or swimming are especially good because nobody can see at first glance that a person is disabled. Josh’s interest in adaptive sports started when he saw a disabled person couldn’t get to an elevator because of a crowd around it. He felt there was a need for awareness to help both normal people and people with disabilities to get along. Josh saw this as a good way to “give back” to the community. So Krankin’ through China was born.

Krankin’ Through China has both members and volunteers. They do everything together to cement a cooperative community, and to encourage leadership by everyone.

Old China Hands 3 September lunch

Still holidays?

Our Old China Hands 3 September lunch saw again 27 attendants, below our usual of mid-30s. People on a trip, busy and even outside of China. The damned quarantine does not help attendance either. Of our member list, just above 100, we have 20 people outside of China, many unsure when they can be back. As I always warn, the list was again cleaned up a little, removing the silent members.

This time happy to see a VIP guest, our Belgian ambassador. Other special guests, Teddy and Eddy, were carried by Kevin, but they skipped the lunch.

Next lunch

As 1 October is the first Friday, rather inconvenient, we decided to have the lunch on Friday 8 October. Hopefully the virus stays away and we can plan without last minute hiccup…

Old China Hands 6 August lunch

A smaller group

Our Old China Hands 6 August lunch saw a bit less attendants, 27, still not too bad as it is right in the middle of the summer period, and midst a scare with new COVID-19 cases in Beijing and China. Two of our members are currently in a lockdown in their Wangjing compound. For 21 days, not funny and I think overdone by the authorities.
Quite a number are also away from Beijing.

Sadly it seems one of our most regular members, Terry, might not get his visa renewed. One more possible victim of the foreigners=disposable policies.
Thanks to Edwin I even have a pic of myself for once.
The most popular dish was the Belgian fricandeau dish! In English often called meat bread, meat loaf.Our next lunch, hopefully, is on Friday 3 September. We hope that by then the virus scare is toned down.

Old China Hands Lunch 1 June 2018 in Morel’s Restaurant

One of the unlucky lockedup at home is Greg who had made some interesting videos of our 5th anniversary. See the earlier post! I put them together and you can watch them on YouTube, yeah you need your backdoor.
See https://youtu.be/IvXaq8lIkkw

Thanks again Greg!

Wood Garden House in Beijing

A colorful new venue

Wood Garden House in Beijing or as it says “Wood Forest Garden Restaurant” is in Sanlitun, Courtyard 4, Gongti Beilu east of Hotel InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun.
Not much about it on Google but it is on Dianping and mentioned by Thebeijinger:

“A spacious eatery with two floors and a theme that borders on jungle-like, serving Spanish and Latin-style food. There’s also a large stage that hosts alternating performances of DJs and live music.
The menu is full of Instagram-worthy photos of salads, power bowls, soups, and entrées including the herbal salad with hot spring egg, chestnut pumpkin and creamy mushroom soups, pasta with shrimp and asparagus, chicken quesadilla, tacos, a Spanish seafood paella, and more.”

Location is of the former Salsa Caribe

Located behind the Pacific Century Plaza at Changhong Qiao east of Sanlitun, this was Beijing’s best place to go for Latin music lovers and salsa aficionados, featuring a large dance floor, high-tech DJ booth, and house Latin band – a raucous blend of sweat, sin and extremely tight pants. Sadly gone.

The place is now attracting many young Chinese to make tons of selfies. Food is reasonable.  Decoration is indeed colorful and “different”.